SOUTH ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A family got the scare of their life when a bat entered their South St. Paul home during the night in August.

“I heard something, something like rustling papers,” said Emily Horton. “So, I woke up and couldn’t believe that there was a bat flying over our heads, and I start like pushing my husband, you know, ‘there’s a bat in the house. Get up!'”

Emily and her husband, Pat, had to think quickly how to protect their two young sons. They also needed a plan to capture the creature at the same time.

“I think both of our adrenaline was really, really pumping,” said Emily.

She says the bat was flying around upstairs, swooping down in front of them. At one point, it even flew directly above their 10-month-old, Andrew, who was in his crib. The couple later found out the bat bit him.

That’s when Pat went to grab a lid from a plastic box in their storage room.

“We wanted to make sure we’d hit it, swing it, knock it down,” said Pat.

Pat said he hit the bat hard and it fell to the floor. Within a few minutes, with the lid still on top of the bat, he scooped it into a plastic bag.

The family immediately headed to the Emergency Room at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. Their sons needed shots following exposure to the bat. Both parents got their shots a few days later.

Emily did what Minnesota Health Department officials say you should do: she took the bat to the University of Minnesota where it was tested for rabies. That test came back positive.

Bats are most active in August heading into fall, looking for some place to go in winter, including trees in the woods and caves. They’ve been known to sneak through chimney screens and fly down into homes. They can also enter through open doors, windows and window screens with holes.

Minnesota Health Department officials suggest making sure your attic and basement are well-sealed, and, if you have a chimney, the damper is kept closed when it’s not being used.

Comments (31)
  1. delainia says:

    I’m sorry, this is NOT news.

    1. Mike says:

      Educating the public about the possibility of exposure to a bat bite and rabies is news. Your comment only shows how stupid one can be……….

    2. rw says:

      What planet are you from? It is important to educate the public about bats and the dangers of rabies.

  2. Karmah says:

    I just had a bat in my house about 2 weeks ago. It was humanely captured and set free.

    1. AC says:

      Good for you. I also had a bat in my house and I humanely beat the hell out of it.

      1. insignificant says:


    2. Dawn says:

      I worked for Greenpeace on the East Coast as a canvasser for several years. Helping with bat removal from houses became part of my evening routine. If you take a light bed sheet and put it up in front of the bat, the bat will fly into it. Drop the sheet. Collect the bat in the sheet and take it outdoors. Gently open up the sheet. The bat will emerge and fly away.

  3. As jack said says:

    I caught a bat in my house last month and it kept coming back so the next time I caught it I had Ozzy bite the head off of it. OZZY RULES!!!!

  4. worth the education says:

    Yes, this is news and it is important news. Had this child not received the rabies shot series, he probably would have died. Rabiles is almost always fatal. It is preventalbe. People need to be educated.

    Our family went through a similar experience a few years ago. Two of our children had bite marks from a bat, and it never occured to me to take them to see a doctor. Luckily a relative who is in the medical field recognized the problem and sent us to a clinic where our children were started on the shot series. The protocol for this is very unclear to the medical professionals, and it took a good nurse, mulitple calls to the CDC, and two days of research for our clinic to figure out that the rest of our family needed shots. Bats have sharp teeth and their bites are not always noticable.

    Educating the public is news. We benefit from educational news. If you don’t like the news piece don’t read it, and for goodness sakes don’t waste more of your time by writing comments.

  5. Rip Off says:

    $1,500 for a couple rabies shots? Unbelievable. Can you say SCAM!!!???

    1. getA realjob.. says:

      lol get some insurance tool…

  6. Sue J says:

    James, I know you can do better. What is your standard as a reporter? Is it this low?

    1. Mike says:

      Sue, Maybe you could have daddy explain the story to you as comprehension apparently is not your strongest asset.

  7. Anyone home???????????????? says:

    August – September – now October 15th

    I concur – IS THIS NEWS ????
    And if it even is – this occurred in AUGUST
    man – he are dropping to new levels in the news rooms all across the TC metro

  8. sara says:

    What the news story is missing is the severity of rabies. It will kill you. By the time most people are diagnosed it is too late. The reporter missed the important part of this story.

  9. Jon says:

    I do not like it when a story gets posted and then people not associated have to slug it out. People do not know it all and I did not know some things on this story. Why complain if this is not news anyways. Complaining has never been news either BUT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

    1. @Jon says:

      If we only had people associated with the story involved here Jon – we have no need for a forum.
      Maybe get the printed version and spare yourself your anxiety eh

      1. Steve says:

        I do not think Jon has anxiety, That was a dumb reply and at least he has the nuts to state his name. The people assoiciated with the story is in the video. Try pressing play moron. Steve

  10. Samson says:

    Rabies is NOT an airborne disease. Why did everyone need shots if they weren’t bitten? Rabies is spread by infected saliva that enters the body through a bite or broken skin

    1. Matters ?? says:

      They got a “group” discount lol
      Fear is what makes the medical field wealthy…think flu shots. 😉

    2. pat says:

      everyone got shots because bat bites hard hard to detect and ppl rarely even know when bitten.. everyone was sleeping and woke up to the bat. so not being 100 percent sure the bat didn’t bite the ppl it was flying directly above as they slept they get rabies shots too.

  11. Gwen says:

    I am pretty sure that the CDC recommend that anyone exposed to a confined area with a bat get the shots prophylactically. There have been rare cases where infection has been spread via mucous membranes and aerosol transmission. It’s precautionary because if the bat or other animal was not examined the assumption is that is does have rabies. Why would anyone want to take a chance of exposre when getting a few shots would protect your life? Once a person becomes symptomatic it is almost always fatal.

    1. Steve Irons says:

      Right you are. There are only a handful of cases where people have not been treated before coming symptomatic and lived to tell the tale….

  12. Steve Irons says:

    I found a good way to capture a bat is to crank up the stereo. The noise will throw off the bat’s sonar and it will slam into a wall an stun itself within a few seconds. Worked like a charm for me on 3 different occasions.

    1. Indeed says:

      They really hate Iron Butterfly….crank up the bass to max and they drop like leaves

      1. insignificant says:

        iron maiden ,eh?…neighbors bats may drop like leaves ,too…final frontier will definately mess with the critters sonar

  13. Gwen says:

    I have put up bat houses in the trees. Give ’em somewhere to live. 😉 I have no issues with bats but would certainly take issue if they were in my home. You just have to do your best to seal up their access, which is probably impossible.

  14. Ah shucks says:

    I just slap on my Batman costume and flip around my cape and the suckers find the way out pronto.

    When we got home last night and found a stray cat on the porch the ol’ bride leaped into her CatWoman suit and off the ran.
    Same thing when we get burglars…..grab the Planet of the Ape suit and they can’t figure out if I’m one of them or not so they skeeeeeeedaddle fast. If I have a white guy trying to rip us off I use my Snowman suit.
    Use your heads folks and the solutions are out there. 😉

  15. Rush in says:

    more UFO’s ….. oh me, oh my. Shots for all ordered by the US Gubbermint

  16. Rusty Norge says:

    Notice they don’t mention the bat’s name or race? HMMMMM? 9 times out of 10 bats in these cases are black bats but the LIBERAL PC POLICE at CCO won’t allow this type of info to be released so the PUBLIC can be INFORMED.

  17. jan says:

    I hope this doesn’t make people hate bats because they are beneficial as they eat enormous amounts of insects but if one got into my house, out would come the tennis racket